The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) released the third and final instalment of its big report
today. It calls for policymakers across the globe to come together
to formulate ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions and avert the
worst impacts of climate change.
The IPCC provides a number of charts and graphics to
illustrate the complex report - some more obvious than others. We
do our best to translate three of the most startling, showing what
the IPCC says must be done, when emissions need to be cut, and
where those reductions can be made.
What must be done
In 1992, countries agreed to curb global greenhouse
gas emissions to try and prevent temperatures from rising by more
degrees above pre-industrial levels. For this to remain
possible, countries are going to have to make some significant
emissions cuts over the coming decades, the IPCC says.
This graph shows how emissions will have to change
between now and 2100 if the world is going to avoid the worst
impacts of climate change, according to the IPCC's modelling:
Each of the coloured strips is a different emissions
pathway - or scenario - that the IPCC has modelled.
The amount of warming the world will experience is
related to the proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,
known as the emissions concentration. There's about a 66 per cent
chance of keeping warming to two degrees if the emissions
concentration stays between 430 and 480 parts per million (ppm) of
carbon dioxide equivalent by 2100, the IPCC estimates - the light
blue strip on the graph above.